01/17/2008 12:58 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

My Issue with Nair

You've got to be kidding me. That was my first reaction when a producer for Fox's Happy Hour show told me that our topic of discussion was going to be young girls and pubic hair maintenance. I wasn't aghast that I was expected to speak about pubes of all things on national TV rather I was appalled that 10- to 15-year olds are actually being encouraged to get rid!

Believe it or not, Nair, the makers of hair-removal products, recently launched its "Pretty" range for, in their own words, "first-time hair removers." Girls as young as fifth grade are being targeted for wax and chemical hair removal -- and in fruity fragrances no less. It's "Come again?" head-spinning. First, their barely pubescent bodies naturally sport the "barely there" look to begin with. And second, how dare Nair play upon the vulnerability and insecurity of this age group!

'Tweens and teens are still growing and in need of messages that boost their self-esteem. They need to know that they are normal and beautiful -- body hair included -- and that they have nothing to be ashamed of. They need to be reassured that there is nothing wrong with their changing forms and becoming a woman, and that having pubic hair is a natural part of physically maturing for males and females. People who can influence the young people around them need to step up on instilling such since Nair is going all out on this one.

The vice president for marketing at Nair's parent company, Church & Dwight, is actually quoted as saying, "When a girl removes hair for the first time, it's a life-changing moment." Maybe if she's a gorilla! There's no good reason to get rid of any body hair at this age, despite the company's hope to lure girls into becoming "smooth" and "totally touchable."

I bet parents are thrilled with that one. Not only do they need to contend with a little girl's pressures to look like Barbie, but now they need to contend with "pretty as in pretty as a porn star" messaging. It's nothing but degrading and harmful, and continues to perpetuate the negative messaging women are constantly fielding about their bodies. Enough already! Let them enjoy being children. They'll have the rest of their lives to subject themselves to painful Brazilians, field nicks while shaving their legs, pluck unwanted facial hair, dig out ingrown hairs...